When I was in the sixth grade, we had a substitute teacher, who, unlike most substitutes and even teachers in our school was absolutely, unequivocally no push-over. She was known to be stern or in sixth grade terms, mean and/or scary. On its most basic level, she just didn’t accept our sixth grade non-sense. For her there was no teacher’s pet, no class favorites, and zero tolerance for, as she put it, “tom-foolery”.
For some reason that I can no longer remember (insert mumble number of years later), on that winter-spring transition day, she both sarcastically admonished us for wearing moon boots (as she should have, good lord, I can’t believe people wore them as a fashion statement and that they have recently been back in fashion) and spoke to us at length about “The Golden Rule, “Treat others as you want to be treated”. Perhaps the 2 events were somehow linked, someone making fun of someone for wearing moon boots (again, can you completely blame them?), or perhaps for something totally unrelated. But for whatever reason, she must have talked to our very nervous (remember she was old, mean and scary by our standards) and yet disinterested class (keep in mind we are in the 6th grade and care mostly about boys and what we will do after school) for at least 20 minutes on the topic. Except for me. I was somehow captivated by her. Perhaps it was my inherent desire to be a pleaser to any and all authority figures (more on my psychological baggage at some point) that this topic tapped into, or maybe it was just that my sensitive soul desired kindness, validation and protection. Now in my mid-3o’s (yes, again mumble mid-30’s) and multiple therapy sessions later, I still do not know, why this particular day and topic had such an impact, but it did and I could not be more grateful.
I have been living by that statement since I was 11.: trying at least…and mostly succeeding. If I really dig into this, there seems to be some correlation (I was never great at statistics) between fundamental morals, faith, common sense and clichés. Some of my favorites:
” If it’s meant to be it will happen”
“Everything happens for a reason”
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
Somehow, in doing this and through my upbringing in my faith (yes, this statement is loaded as I am Catholic and so perhaps there has been some guilt, but mostly faith) I see most things in this life through one of these lenses. It has been this faith and these what are commonly thought to be clichés that have helped inspire me to create this blog and helped me persevere through what have been some very challenging times as of late. More on that later, but this blog is really about being grateful. Grateful for that day when I was in the 6th grade that for some reason allows me to try to stay positive even in the most difficult situation, and to when necessary reference more clichés:
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”
“Every cloud has a silver lining”
Mostly, I am just very grateful for every day that I am so blessed to be given. My husband, children, family, friends and even all of experiences, especially the difficult ones that have helped shape me. So each day can be my new favorite day, where I will continue to try to mine the positive moments in the challenging ones and celebrate the moments of joy and happiness where nothing else matters. I can be present in those moments and find the gratitude. If you are reading this, thank you for taking the time to read to this. I hope that this blog will eventually help people grab the moments and look at them through a lens of gratitude and each day can be your new favorite day.
Featured image shared from: 1,000 miles with Jesus.